Young Scottish Musicians to Benefit from Mentoring

The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh has launched a new scheme to support four young players of Scottish traditional instruments.

The musicians, aged 12 – 16, have been chosen for their proficiency in both classical and Scottish traditional musical genres. The fiddle, clarsach, accordion and bagpipes will be played by the youngsters at a variety of Club events throughout the year, giving the quartet the unique opportunity to perform throughout the year at Club events, such as dinners and lunches, as well as the annual concert.

The scheme, which runs for three years, is funded by members and supported by the Trustees of The Royal Scots Club. It is designed to encourage, support and develop traditional Scottish music by engaging the four talented young musicians, whilst at the same time providing music on a variety of occasions within the Club’s busy social programme.

Lucy Ruuskanen | Fiddle

A pupil of Broughton High School, 12 year old Lucy is also proficient in piano and has won a number of competitions. A member of the Junior Orchestra within the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, she has busked with her violin on a number of occasions on the streets of Edinburgh during the August Festivals.

Personal Mentor: Paul Anderson

Ciorstaidh Chaimbeul | Clarsach

15 years old Ciorstaidh comes from An Caol, Wester Ross and is studying at Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Music School. A Gaelic speaker, she is especially efficient in the traditional playing of the small harp.

Personal Mentor: Alison Kinnaird

Ryan Corbett | Accordion

Ryan is 16 years old and currently studying at Douglas Academy and the Junior Conservatoire of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. He has won many awards for his playing of the accordion in both the classical and Scottish traditional fields. In September, he will be taking up a scholarship at St Mary’s in Edinburgh.

Personal Mentor: Sandy Brechin

Angus McGregor | Bagpipes

Angus is 13 years old and plays in three pipe bands, including at Merchiston Castle School, where he holds an exhibition scholarship for piping. He is studying both classical and modern forms of playing and has won awards. He, too, has enjoyed busking on the streets of Edinburgh.

Personal Mentor: Senior Pipe Major of the British Army, Martin Macdonald

As well as a personal mentor, the foursome will also benefit from tutoring with Robin Morton in performance skills. Plus, Scotland’s best known composer and conductor Sir James MacMillan and his wife, Lynne (chair of the Cumnock Tryst annual music festival) have agreed to become Principal Mentors and are backing the scheme thanks to their particular interest in encouraging young musicians.

John Lloyd, Chairman of the Royal Scots Club:

We are greatly excited by this initiative. We talked to the schools to seek out the talent and the youngsters could well go on to becoming top rate performers and ambassadors for music-making with their particular instruments. With some 2,000 members and a lively programme of events in our Abercromby Place premises, we are looking forward to welcoming these four young people into the Club family.